Dying Now: Green Funerals
Portland Press Herald:
Klara Tammany's mother didn't want a typical American funeral. No embalming, no metal casket, not even a funeral home.
When she died after a long illness a couple of years ago, family members and friends washed and dressed her body and put it in a homemade wooden casket, which was laid across two sawhorses in the dining room of her condo in Brunswick.
Then, for two days, friends and family visited, brought cut flowers, wrote messages on the casket's lid and said goodbye.
"We had this wake, and it was wonderful," Tammany said.
The home funeral is part of an emerging trend that some believe will change the way Americans deal with death. Send-offs like the one Tammany planned with her mother are called "green" funerals because they avoid preservative chemicals and steel and concrete tombs, all designed to keep a body from decomposing naturally.